Sharks Look For Number Two Against The Blues


Feb 19, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart (7) and goalie Antti Niemi (31) defend against St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) in the second period at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St.Louis Blues (12-9-2) visit HP Pavillion to battle the San Jose Sharks (11-7-4) at the Shark Tank this afternoon.

This is the second meeting of the season between the Blues and the Sharks and will be the first of two meetings in the next three days, with the teams playing each other one more time this season on the 12th of March.

In their last game the Sharks fell to the Flames after a rough third period where they gave up three goals in that final frame while the Blues are coming off of a convincing 6-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Leading the way for the the Blues in overall points is winger Chris Stewart with nine goals and 11 assists for 20 total points.  Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk leads in asssits with 15 to go along with his two goals, and Patrik Berglund leads the team in goals, tallying 11 so far this season.

Also, highly touted rookie Vladimir Tarasenko has cooled off significantly after his great start with just one goal and one assist in his last nine games.

For San Jose, Patrick Marleau still leads the team with 12 goals but teammates Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski are slowly catching up with eight and seven, respectively.  Meanwhile, Joe Thornton continues to lead the team in assists with 18 and total points with 23.   He has also scored eight points in his past eight games and seems to be the only Shark who has been consistenly putting up points.

Also, a note about Thornton who took his first shot in seven games against the Flames on Wednesday where he scored on one of the two he took.  When was the last time he shot a puck in a game?  You have to go all the way back to February 19th, which consequently was against these same Blues, and guess what, he scored!  Joe Thornton, please shoot the puck more! You have a great shot, use it!  I know you are a playmaker, but it would not hurt to put the puck on net a little more often.

What To Watch For

One of the keys to today game will be the San Jose penalty kill (third in the league) against the St. Louis Blues and their second-best power play in the league.  I expect the winner of this matchup to be in the driver’s seat as far as winning the game goes, especially if the Blues can get a goal or two against a San Jose team that struggles to score many goals.

The great news for the Sharks is that the Blues, while they do not allow lots of shots, are still in the bottom third as far as goals allowed per game goes.  If they can get lots of pucks on net this afternoon then they will be in good shape for a few goals, and hopefully a victory.